I love shrimp. Remember those old “throw a shrimp on the barbie” commercials for Australia tourism? They motivated me to take a trip Down Under, where I learned about Aussie wine the best way possible — in person.
Anytime I read a description of a shrimp dish on a restaurant menu, I immediately start to think about what kind of wine I’d pair with it.
For instance, if the dish is prepared with a spicy sauce such as today’s wildly popular Sriracha sauce, the only real option is sparkling wine — well chilled.
When it comes to dishes such as Parmesan Shrimp Scampi, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo or Coconut Shrimp, my go-to wine is Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris. Traditionally, Pinot Grigio is made in a not-too-heavy, extremely food-friendly style, and shrimp is one of its finest pairing partners.
Keep in mind that when pairing wine and food, it’s best to concentrate on the primary flavor of the dish, such as the aforementioned hot Sriracha sauce. Put that sauce on almost anything, and it pretty much obliterates the other flavors on the plate, hence the need for a wine with a “neutral” flavor.
But with preparations such as Parmesan, garlic, Alfredo sauce or coconut, the added flavors are not overpowering; they complement the dish. And when you add any of those “ingredients” to shrimp, Pinot Grigio works wonderfully as a pairing partner.
It also works nicely with simply prepared shrimp on the Barbie.